Tag Archives: human resources programs

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2009 Large Business HR Director Of The Year Finalists

Christine NicholsName: Christine Nichols
Title: Human Resource Manager
Company: Human Capital Strategies

Years with company: 1
Years in current position: 1
Company established: 2007
No. of employees in AZ: 980
No. of employees in HR dept.: 2
www.hcscando.com

Christine Nichols has a take-charge attitude that she applies to all her duties as human resource manager at Human Capital Strategies.

Nichols is thorough in establishing and implementing human resources programs such as employee orientation, and in providing proper training for employees so they can build value in the Mesa-based employment and human-services company. She also monitors staff efficiency by coaching employees on their assigned projects.

Known for her open-door policy, Nichols has established forthright communication that cultivates a sense of trust within the company and allows employees to participate in the firm’s growth. Each employee’s opinion is given respectful attention, and issues, concerns and ideas are appropriately addressed under Nichols’ leadership. In addition to encouraging employees to further their education and professional development through classes, Nichols also makes sure their responsibilities overlap into other departments, so they can carry out the duties of other staff members and are better candidates for promotion.

To encourage quality performance, employee accomplishments are recognized at biweekly staff meetings and quarterly team-building events.

Nichols’ department offers telecommuting and flex time for employees, especially when an illness strikes or the unexpected occurs in employees’ personal lives. These arrangements are particularly convenient for staff with children or elderly parents who need extra attention. Human Capital Strategies has found telecommuting and flex time highly beneficial; missed days are minimal and productivity is high. These arrangements also improve employee retention.

Diversity at Human Capital Strategies is based on the belief that quality people are not exclusive to a specific background.


Patti SorourName: Patti Sorour
Title: Director of Human Resources
Company: Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Years with company: 1+
Years in current position: 1+
Company established: 2002
No. of employees in AZ: 1,000
No. of employees in HR dept.: 5
www.westin.com

Patti Sorour is putting her 25 years of human resources experience to good use at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. Using a variety of programs, including those for employee development, incentives and recognition, Sorour works to keep employee morale and retention at a high level.

As director of human resources, Sorour looks for ways to help the Scottsdale resort’s employees follow the Westin philosophy of living and working well. Her department has disseminated tips on how to stay healthy during the flu season. The resort’s “Live Well. Be Well.” electronic newsletter also provides suggestions for healthy eating and fitness.

Sorour helps maintain a strong level of internal communication for both management and staff through daily and monthly newsletters. Employees are recognized for their hard work and dedication on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Management also receives similar recognition quarterly.

Through Westin Kierland University, employees participate in classes that not only help them on the job, but also in their everyday lives. Classes have been offered for CPR, retirement planning and behavioral interviewing. The Phoenix Police Department’s “Don’t Be A Victim” program also has been incorporated into the classes.

Under Sorour’s guidance, the resort offers a six-month employee development program in which staff members are schooled on operational and leadership skills through hands-on experience and shadowing department heads. The aim of the program is to help participants prepare for leadership positions.

To help promote diversity at Kierland, Sorour recruits seasonal employees from other countries who work in a variety of departments, including culinary, dining and recreation.